Past and present

The Peace Tower Carillon was inaugurated on 1 July 1927, the 60th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada. It was commissioned and installed by order of Parliament to commemorate the Armistice of 1918. The inauguration ceremony was a major event and also marked the first live coast-to-coast radio broadcast in Canada. It is estimated that several million people heard the inaugural concert both in Canada and internationally. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King delivered the dedication speech, declaring the carillon to be the ‘voice of the nation’ in remembrance of the sacrifice made by Canada during the First World War.

In September 1936, the Second Congress of Carillonneurs in North America was called at the Houses of Parliament. At this meeting, The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America was established as a central organization with a constitution, dedicated to the promotion of the carillon art in North America. The House of Commons has hosted subsequent Guild congresses in Ottawa in 1955, 1967, and 1986.

The Dominion Carillonneur continues to perform more than 200 recitals per year. In addition, special recitals are played for Canada Day (1 July), Remembrance Day (11 November) and for visiting dignitaries, national celebrations and historic commemorations.

Facts and figures

Number of bells 53
Total weight of the bells 55,000 kg
Weight of the bourdon 10,090 kg
Pitch of bourdon e1, connected to G in the keyboard
Bell-founders Gillett & Johnston (1927)
Manual playing system mechanical baton-type keyboard
Automatic playing system Westminster Quarters on modified Gillett & Johnston drum
Carillonneur Andrea McCrady
Regular recitals weekdays from September to June from 12 to 12.15 pm
Summer concerts weekdays in July and August from 11 am to 12 pm
Accessibility of the tower Peace Tower observation deck open to the general

Significant inscription

This carillon was installed by

authority of Parliament

to commemorate

the Peace of 1918

And

to keep in remembrance

the service and sacrifice

of Canada in the

Great War

Anno Domini MCMXXVI

53

Inscription on bourdon

 

Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace good will toward me – St. Luke’s gospel, chapter 11 verse 14

Around the external rim

Social visit